NHS Western Isles launches consultation on smoke free policy

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NHS Western Isles has launched a consultation on its draft Smoke Free Policy, and is inviting members of the public and staff to give comments, highlight issues or ask questions.

Back in November 2012, the Board committed to a policy of no smoking on NHS Western Isles premises and grounds, and launched a one-year countdown to the introduction of a smoke-free policy. This means that all premises and grounds owned by NHS Western Isles will be smoke-free by November 30, 2013.

In the run-up to November 30, 2013, smoking is permitted only in designated smoking areas.

Information and support is being offered to both staff and patients over the ‘countdown’ period. The transition period provides smokers with time to access smoking cessation support, should they so wish, and will also give staff and the local community time to become accustomed to the new arrangements.

Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death in the UK and is the biggest cause of ill health in Scotland. It is now estimated to claim over 13,000 lives each year and costs the NHS in Scotland an estimated £200 million per annum. For these reasons NHS Western Isles aims to discharge its public health duties responsibly and will always act to discourage and consequently prevent smoking.

The aim of the Board is to reduce premature mortality and to improve the health of the people of the Western Isles. Advocating non-smoking is recognised as being one of the most effective ways to achieving these aims. This policy also forms part of the Board’s overall concern for the health, safety and welfare of its staff.

The draft Smoke Free Policy is available at http://www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/public-consultations or by contacting Douglas Jamieson on 01851 704704 Ext 2008).

At the end of the consultation period, all responses to the draft policy will be considered and the final policy will go to the NHS Western Isles Board for approval in October 2013.

This Public Consultation closes on Monday 30th September 2013.

People can submit any comments or questions in the following ways:

Emailing mira.ostrowska@nhs.net or phoning 01851 708229.

Or

Writing to: Mira Ostrowska

Smoke Free Policy Consultation

Health Board Offices

37 South Beach

Stornoway

Isle of Lewis

HS1 2BB